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Clarity: Key to Your Transformation (Part 11)

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Hi there,

In my last blog post, I had talked about “buy in” and distortion. If there is distortion, then you find it hard to completely buy in.

After you buy in to something, you won’t just sit around. You will be motivated to take action. If there is no action, nothing happens. You need action to carry through your plan to make it happen. The action plan also had to come from decision. Life is all about decision-making, not about thinking. So often someone says, “Let me think about it.” or “I need time to think about it.” they actually mean “let me buy some time to make a decision. How pathetic is that? Have you been making some good decisions that have made an impact in your life, or are you still “thinking about it”?

But of course, in order to make decisions, we need information. And information does not come through thinking. Information comes from our observations, knowledge and understanding and most importantly, our practices.

What are “practices”? Not yoga or meditation. I’m referring to what you do during your waking hours. Let’s assume that you practice positive thinking for one hour a day, but if for the rest of the day, you spend the other 16 hours fretting or steeped in negative thinking, forget it.

That’s right. I’m talking to your 16 hours of moment-to-moment thinking – thoughts affect your feelings, and your feelings affect your action. Are you practising being calculative, stingy and narrow-minded? Resentment, anger, complaining?

If you do all the above, you know what you are going to become. You become what you do every moment. On the other hand, if you are practising generosity, kindness, love, being open-minded, you will know what kind of life you will have. What goes around, comes around.   :-)

Till the next time, remember to practise the good things!

Stay well,

Nancy

 

Clarity: Key to Your Transformation (Part 10)

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Today, we will deal with the ‘transformation’ in our series Clarity: Key to Your Transformation. So what is transformation? Quite simply, it is defined as, “Where you are now, and where you’d like to be.” It’s not just about changes – it’s about growth, and where you are going to evolve.

But it seems like such a big challenge. How do I know that? It’s because my clients are coming to me and telling me that they have set goals for themselves, but somehow they are still missing that success. They are still experiencing hurdles, challenges, obstacles, what have you.

I’d like to believe that it doesn’t have to be that way.  I believe they are lacking something called ‘buy in’. So what’s buy in?

Let’s use an analogy: choosing between Product A or Product B. Let’s say we were attracted to Product A because of the features and its look and feel. We have ‘bought in to the product’. But we feel no such attraction to Product B. We may be given a comprehensive presentation on all its features, but we are not sure that we would choose it, so we tell the salesperson, “Let me think about it.” And usually that means goodbye to the sale.

Let’s analyse why you have not ‘bought into’ Product B. Perhaps the entire product demo made sense, but you didn’t like certain elements of the product, or disliked the type of customers who have chosen Product B. That little niggly feeling is a sense of ‘distortion’ which stops you from taking the next step with Product B.

Coming back to my clients’ feedback about encountering obstacles – they have charted their life goals, so what have they not succeeded?

That’s because you may have experienced distortion between what you have planned and what you actually believe/feel. Perhaps you were not clear enough in setting your goals. Perhaps you were influenced by somebody else’s negative remarks. Or perhaps even haunted by your own past (bad) experiences.

So if you could identify exactly what the distortion is, you would be able to take steps to neutralise it and clear the road to successfully achieve your goals.

What are some common distortions? They could be your limiting beliefs; low self esteem; or that you lack support from people around you. But guess what? All of these are ‘outside-in misunderstandings’ because they are just your thoughts about it. Even one of your past (bad) experiences that have happened, they are not relevant anymore now.

So you have to be very accurate in identifying the distortion – which part in your brain is playing it up. How do you catch a distortion? You cannot catch it during the thought process, because thoughts are so spontaneous. A more accurate signal is from your feelings, rather than your thoughts. When we accurately identify what is the distortion, then we can practise inside-out principles to meet our goals.

So have a think about your buy-in: what have you bought in, and what have you not bought in? Of course, you have to focus and stay in context; only consider those ‘buy-in’ that’s relative to your goals and aspirations. Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ and 10 years’ time? If I may use myself as an example: my goal is to go global. I want to take my message out to millions. I absolutely know there are people who will do well if they take my messages and advice, they will successfully transform their lives, joyfully, meaningfully and with purpose.

So go forth, and listen to your feelings. Find the distortions, and then apply the inside-out technique.

 

Love and light,

Nancy

 

Clarity: Key to Your Transformation (Part 9)

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Hi there,

In my last video, I talked about ‘cultivation’, applying ‘kind’ and ‘loving’ to whatever you think and feel. When you deliberately cultivate loving kindness, you are feeling good about your own thoughts, and thus there is no room to be negative. Even if a negative thought should come (because we are creatures of habit), it won’t rub off too much or too badly on you.

One of my clients claimed that her partner had been emotionally aggressive towards her, even to the point of “attacking her” (I quote her verbatim). It has developed to the point where she had to physically excuse herself from a restaurant, etc, whenever such episodes happen.

It is my job to help her sort out her thinking, to determine whether her thinking is really accurate. How much of her misery arises from her thoughts and how much is really attributable to her partner?

A question I would ask her would be, “What are the benefits for her partner to do that?” Granted, his approach and method of communication is not ideal, but what is his intention?

What are the benefits for him to make sure that you are doing exactly what he wants? Whenever you face a situation where people are not nice to you, stop and ask yourself, “What are the benefits?” Often, you will find that people that care for you – there are no benefits for them to be un-nice or aggressive towards you.

Once you determine there are indeed no benefits, your mind, including your subconscious, will find it easy to drop the topic and mentally move on.

Thoughts influence your feelings, and your feelings influence your actions. So always ask yourself whenever you are faced with any situation – “what are the benefits?“. You can use this on yourself too, whenever you are thinking through something.

Also be mindful of your own intentions. What are the intentions of others? What are your boss’s intentions? Intentions hold a lot of power. Use them wisely.

 

Think with intention,

Nancy

nancyho@therevolutionarycoaching.com

 

Clarity: Key to your Transformation (Part 8)

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Dear readers,

Today, I’d like to talk about cultivation.

Now that you have awakened to the Principle of Thought, what happens when you don’t cultivate? You end up living life ‘by default’.

So what should we cultivate? How about ‘loving kindness’? Hear me out, before you dismiss this notion out of hand.

The opposite of loving kindness is aversion. Aversion comes in many forms, from dislike (the mildest), to irritation, frustration, discontentment, anger and finally,  hatred (most severe). And when you have aversion, you are filled with bad thoughts and this causes your brain to secrete ‘bad’ chemicals.

So you literally cannot afford to feel bad. But how do you avoid feeling bad when you are practising aversion (unconsciously) all day long? Thoughts like:

  • “I can’t stand this.”
  • “Oh my god, the weather is too hot.”
  • “I don’t like it – this person irritates me.”

Imagine yourself living like this day in, day out – you are practising aversion.

That’s why it’s crucial to cultivate loving kindness.

By that, I don’t mean that you have to make yourself see the godliness in everyone. I am talking about having the energy of love and the energy of kindness inside you. Be kind to your thoughts. Be loving to your thoughts. Even when you are beset by some irritation or frustration, be loving to those bad feelings. Don’t let your bad emotions run away with you and be reinforced needlessly.

Although there may be days when other people push our hot buttons, you have to remember the inside out misunderstanding. All our feelings are coming from our thoughts created in the moment. So if someone angered you, it’s actually your thoughts about that person (or that situation) that angered you, not the physical person itself. If you remember my advice about fleeting moments, just don’t pay attention and those bad thoughts will disappear quickly. Your goal is to make your averse feelings disappear quickly, so that your mind can be filled with good, successful thoughts.

I will share an exercise in my next video to ramp up the feeling of ‘loving kindness’.

In the meantime, stay well.

Nancy

nancyho@therevolutionarycoaching.com

Clarity: Key to Your Transformation (Part 7)

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I have a nickname, called Happy Nancy. People don’t call me that without reason.

It’s an attitude, whether you want to feel good or to feel bad.

In this post (and my accompanying video), I would like to talk about ‘attachment’. Attachment is one of the Evil Roots, and I don’t mean this in a religious sense.

For example, when we were children, we were attached to a toy – remember that smelly pillow or blanket? We held on to it for dear life because it gives us a sense of security and comfort. That’s what I mean by ‘attachment’ – when our sense of well-being is so tied up with the object that we feel absolutely miserable when we lose it.

So, there are attachments to the physical things in life. What about attachments to old stories? An attachment to something that happened to you in the past? Such an attachment would naturally invoke fear because you are afraid that it will happen again.

This is not good at all. This is a mindset that you do not want; to cling to, whether it is a thought, an experience, a thing or a person. You have to free yourself and your mind from these experiences, both good and bad. Yes, even the good ones. If you are attached to the ‘good stories’, you may end up promoting and encouraging greed. Never having enough, always wanting more of something. You see where this leads to the thinking, “I’ll be happy when…”

Detachment is a deliberate attitude to cultivate, to be free from these experiences. I had a client who could not move forward because he was so afraid of the “what if?” He was clinging on to his old mental story (or experience) of being cheated by his business partners because he had neglected to check in on them. In this case, he not only learned a painful lesson but was also imprinted with a mental story of fear. It should be a case of taking the lessons and moving forward with better business processes going forward, instead of being emotionally ruled by his mental story and fear, and going to work each day with a controlling mindset. He eventually realized that he was in a state of inertia because he was unable to let go of his fear, and this was hindering his progress.

I was also a victim of ‘attachment’ in the past. And by holding on to these out-moded expectations of myself and others, I held a lot of fear and resentment within me. I resolved to be free of these attachments, and trained myself to let go of my anger and anxieties.

If you practise the attitude of not having attachments, you will gain the wisdom that nothing is permanent. Things / people / situations can come and go, yet we are not upset by these changes.

The only way to access our past is through the memory. Memories are not real. They are not happening now. Just drop it, or let it slide like water off a duck’s back.

If you want to lead a free, high-spirited and joyful existence, cut out the ‘attachment’ word from your life. And that simple yet profound decision is yours to make.

Stay well,

Nancy

nancyho@therevolutionarycoaching.com

Clarity: Key to Your Transformation (Part 6)

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Hello dear readers,

I’d like to introduce the idea or concept of “I’ll be happy when…”.

We have been conditioned since young that getting a particular toy or eating a chocolate cake gives us happiness. And with the sub-message that we have to work hard (at studies or at chores) in order to be rewarded with a bicycle, for example.

Is it wrong?

Well, perhaps not wrong per se, but it means we have been conditioned by this outside-in misunderstanding – that the bicycle makes us happy; that eating a chocolate cake makes us happy.

This is not a good sign!

No amount of chocolate cake is going to make us happy. Nor the bicycle, nor the man/woman we have married are going to make us happy. If we keep insisting that a particular thing/person/situation makes us happy, let me clarify that it is an outside-in misunderstanding because it is only our thought about these things that makes us happy.

Let me repeat this for emphasis: it is only the principle of thoughts (what you think about that chocolate cake/new apartment/dream car/gorgeous man or woman) that makes you happy. There’s nothing wrong about that, as long as you are aware of it. That it is none other than your thoughts.

Once you gain this understanding, your expectations will be very different. You are not going to hold on to that particular thing or person for dear life. Come on, it’s only your thoughts.

Which brings us to a new concept: If it’s only our thoughts, we are accountable for it. We are responsible for it, not the other party.

That’s the key to managing your expectations. Achieving your goals is a good thing and it is a natural progression. Know that it’s only your thoughts about your goals; your thoughts about what you want. Therefore there shouldn’t be any attachment to the way things are – it’s just your thoughts about the situation.

When you are attached to a thought that “a particular thing makes me happy”, you may get possessive; be disappointed if things don’t work out; or even get angry. But once you can insightfully understand that it’s really just your thoughts, you can manage those unhelpful thoughts at source (i.e. yourself) instead of the actual thing itself (which is often not within our control).

Let this concept sit with you for a while and see if it ticks, then you will have this inside-out understanding. What it means is that:

- You have clarity;

- You are accountable for your own life;

- You are in control of your life; and most importantly

- You are out of the hamster wheel.

This leads me to the topic of the next blog post, which is about ‘attachment’. It is a big topic. In the meantime, go with the flow and I’ll post again soon.

 

Keep well,

Nancy

nancyho@therevolutionarycoaching.com

 

Clarity: Key to your Transformation (Part 5)

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Hi readers,

I am excited to share with you some exercises to help you develop or create some kind of awareness. Why is that so important? Without awareness, you will not even know whether you are wasting precious attention on thoughts that are unhelpful and unnecessary.

Let’s quickly get started:

(i)            Sit back on your chair and get into a comfortable position.

(ii)          Clench both your fists, hold them in front of you and look at them. (they can be resting on your lap)

(iii)         Clench them as tightly as you can. Imagine yourself directing your breath towards your fists.

(iv)         Take note of the colours of your hand – the parts that have turned white, pink or even red, due to the changes in the bloodflow.

(v)          Still looking at your fists, slowly open them.

As you slowly open them, you will feel the blood rushing back into your hand. Perhaps you see the colour…now it’s more evenly spread out. You may probably also notice your rate of breathing, and so on.

Why did I want you to do this?

Did you realize while you were doing the exercise, you had no other thoughts. You were absolutely in the present. If you would like me to guide you through the exercise verbally, go to my YouTube video and fast forward to 03:00.

After that, take note of what has happened to your hands, your body, breathing and even the muscles on your face. What did you sense? What did you feel?

After the exercise, you may have realized that you were completely ‘in the now’. That’s what it means to ‘be present’.

Keep this exercise as a regular practice, at least once a day. It will train your mind so that it will know what it feels like to be free of unnecessary thoughts. The more you practise, the more ‘stillness’ you will experience. You become calm, and with this calmness, you will encounter a sense of natural joy.

Note, this is not the joy that you experience when buying something, or even joy associated with achievement. It is something more innate, and also provides the motivation to achieve your goals, aspirations and desires. However, when you are so drawn to the future and so worried, or keep thinking and putting your attention on the past, it is very hard to be positive.

This exercise can be done quickly and discreetly, anytime that you find your thoughts drifting into undesirable territory. Regular practice can literally strip away your unhelpful thoughts right there and then!

Be present,

Nancy

nancyho@therevolutionarycoaching.com

Clarity: Key to your Transformation (Part 4)

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In my last post, I talked about The Three Principles: Mind, Consciousness, Thought. Indeed, these Principles enable us to acknowledge life and our existence. Mr Sydney Banks, the originator of the Three Principle theory, also referred to them as the Psychological Trinity.

I have received some emails from readers who wondered how they could ‘stop their thoughts’ or ‘stop their thinking’.

In my previous post, I had used the analogy of a river to depict our constant flow of thoughts. We cannot stop this naturally (building a dam doesn’t count as natural!).

But guess what? These thoughts have no power.

Thoughts only have power when you give it attention. Starved of attention, the thought just disappears (i.e. it is quickly forgotten).

Consider another metaphor: A teabag.

A teabag can be filled with the most fragrant tea leaves in the world, but I can’t do anything with it ‘as is’. I need hot water. When I immerse the tea bag in a cup of hot water, the hot water acts as the ‘attention’ I said earlier. Take a look inside the cup now, and what do you see?

That one little teabag has diffused its contents throughout the entire cup.

Not all thoughts are useful to us. A vast majority of thoughts are just random snippets about the past, which is not relevant anymore. Many people continue to be tormented by the past or worry about the future through those thoughts.

Your key action is not to give those thoughts any attention. And trust me, they will become fleeting moments. Let them come, and simply float away. That way, there will be no impact to your life whatsoever.

Of course, do we ever need to think? Only sometimes. We should think only when:

  • We need to plan
  • We need to make a decision of some sort
  • We need to find information
  • We need to seek solutions to problems

Those are the times when we truly need to put in thinking, but guess what? Those moments are very ‘present’, focused ‘in the now’, and bring you some results. By wrongly putting your energy on thoughts about the past or the future, those become obsessive thoughts.

How do we keep our thoughts ‘in the now’? The answer is awareness, and being fully present in whatever we are doing, from moment to moment.

How many people eat a meal without being fully present? As you are reading this blog post, do you feel your own heartbeat? Are you feeling the chair that you are sitting on?

In my next blog post, I will give you a couple of exercises, where you can learn to create and develop awareness. Only when you have awareness can you stop yourself from giving attention to unhelpful thoughts. On a positive note, the same awareness skill can direct useful thoughts to bring you advantages.

Be aware,

Nancy

nancyho@therevolutionarycoaching.com

 

Clarity: Key to your Transformation (Part 3)

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I would like to explore the Three Principles which I spoke about in my video and last blog post. It may sound easy to understand these principles intellectually, but quite another thing to ‘get it’ insightfully.

The Three Principles are a concept expounded by Mr Sydney Banks. He discovered these Principles whilst he was suffering from severe depression. Then one day, he came to the realization that he was caught in his thinking.

The Three Principles are as follow:

                                          Mind               Consciousness                     Thought

Mind refers to energy and higher intelligence. Some cultures call it ‘God’, or ‘life force’. Mind sends the content via Thought (thinking) into our brain. Thoughts are the information that we feed into our brain, in the form of images or ideas. And since the brain controls the body, hence it becomes our reality, which is the Consciousness.

If we truly understood the above ‘insightfully’, then we couldn’t be angry, frustrated or stressed. This is especially acute when you need to perform – you get panicky and stressed, and you are fearful of not getting it right. Why? Because perhaps everyone tends to think in an instant that it is always something outside of us that causes us to think and feel this way. But no, it’s only your thinking.

Then my clients go on to say, “But I cannot stop my thoughts.”

Of course you can!

Some people go into meditation to stop their thoughts. That unfortunately doesn’t work. It’s like saying you want to stop water flowing within a river.

Remember, Thoughts are not the stuff that give you trouble. The problem comes when you start thinking into the Thoughts. Some people may call it “perception”. Yet others term it “manifestation”. Let’s use the analogy of the river again.

Let’s look into the river. Some people may not like what they see in the water. There may be some rubbish, plastic bags etc, in it. Yet, sometimes, you may find flowers and leaves being carried down the river too. In short, the river is what it is. Just a river with stuff in it.

But when I start thinking into what I see, I might think, “Oh god…plastic bags? How inconsiderate of some people!” Your brain will begin to associate this opinion with many other associated memories that you had in the past, and cause a reaction within you. And lo and behold, our minds become ‘full of stuff.’

When something like that happens, you are completely not living at peace because you are struggling mentally. However, if you are able to practise the Three Principles successfully you will realize it is only your thinking and nothing else. And if you are able to do it, that’s Clarity.

Since you know that everything starts and ends with only your thinking, here’s an exercise. I’d like you to spend the rest of your day being mindful and aware. Whenever you feel bad, panicky or uneasy, just tell yourself, “Hey, it’s just my thinking.” Try that, and see what results you get out of it.

Stay well,

Nancy

nancyho@therevolutionarycoaching.com

Clarity: Key to Your Transformation (Part 2)

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Hi there!

I hope you have answered the 2 questions I asked you to in the last blog post. If not, do head back quickly here to get an idea of what it was about. Alternatively, you can choose to watch/hear this post on my YouTube channel.

Here are the 2 questions I had asked you to consider:

1) Do you accept that you are caught in a hamster wheel?   and

2) What are your obsessive thoughts?

Question 1: ‘Caught in the Hamster Wheel’

The key: Get out of it!

Are you having some kind of problems and situations that you never seem to get out of? The key is to get out of it.

By getting out, I mean that you are not getting emotionally affected by it anymore.

As long as you continually find yourself in situations that cause you frustration, anger or misery, that means you are affected. The symptoms of being affected shows up either in your mood, work performance, studies, and even in your health.

We were all made strong and healthy at birth. So when things so awry, chances are that the reasons may be psychosomatic.

Question 2: What are your obsessive thoughts?

The key: Realize that your problems are coming from yourself, not the other person.

What seems to be bugging you all the time? Our problems usually revolve around certain people (eg. family members or a significant other), or themes (eg. work life). And when these obsessive thoughts surface in your mind, you feel emotionally affected.

Whatever these thoughts might be, there is only one problem: You think your misery / trouble / sadness is coming from the other person; the outside situation, and not you.

Some time ago, I had a family crisis. But I did not let it affect me. That does not mean I don’t care – I do. But while my siblings were going crazy over it, I accepted the situation just as it was.

Once I accepted the situation “just as it was”, I could take action effectively. Whatever that I could resolve within my means, I did it. And whatever issues that I couldn’t solve at that point in time, I accepted that I just couldn’t.

Whenever I explain this to my clients, they will usually start arguing with me, “No, it’s because this person is the source of the problem, etc”

But the crux is this: You still think the problem is caused by other people, and not by your thoughts, or rather, the Principle of Thought.

As long as your thoughts are not changed, you will continue to feel the misery that is burning inside you all the time. Nothing from the outside can cause you any misery – only your thoughts.

It’s usually your thinking about what happened that provided your interpretation of events. And, in a split-second in our wonderful brain, we had blamed, complained and labeled others, thus causing the problem.

See if you can entertain that concept, for a start.

In Part 3, I will talk about the Three Principles, which are fundamental to either bringing us happiness or misery.

 

See you soon,

Nancy

nancyho@therevolutionarycoaching.com